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CISLAC Decries Recurrence Of Damning Findings In Neiti Audit Reports

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The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) decries the recurrence of damning revelations from the Audit Report of the NEITI 2013 which was released on Monday, May 23, 2013.

In a statement in Abuja, Executive Director, Auwal Musa Ibrahim said: While we observe that the audit covers the period that predates this administration, we believe that government is a continuum and all governments own the citizens of Nigeria the duty of recovering monies due to them and meant for providing them with services.

CISLAC is sad that the sum of $3.8billion and N358.3billion was recorded as outstanding revenues from NNPC and its sub-units in 2013. Beyond the figures is that the unfortunate occurrence persists and is recurrent since the reports dates as far back as 1999-2005. And in spite of the existence of an IMTT of which the NNPC is a part, the case of unremitted revenues still persist and they arise from unpaid consideration from the divested Oil Mining Licenses, cash-call refunds from NAPIMS and NPDC liftings from Joint Venture Agreements.

CISLAC finds it scandalizing that up to $12.9 billion of the NLNG payments received by NNPC between 2005 and 2013 had not been remitted to the Federal Government or the Federation as at 2013. That the figure continued to rise in spite of previous audits and recommendations again depicts the level of impunity that characterized the NNPC.

"We are worried that the NNPC’s continuous retention of monies meant for the federation continues till date and in spite of the reforms initiated by the present NNPC leadership, there has been no clear demonstration to citizens that this practice has stopped."

We are not surprised that the sum of $5.966 billion and N20.4 billion was recorded as revenue losses to the Federation in 2013 due to Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA), crude swap and crude theft. We have repeatedly flagged the inefficient nature of the OPAs. Our concern is that despite their cancellation, there are no indications that anyone has been made to take responsibility for this monumental loss to the nation which now stands in dire need of revenues. The investigation by the National Assembly, which had held some hopes that culprits would at least be identified, has yielded no results so far. We are concerned that the NNPC has continued the crude swap arrangement to ensure availability of refined products and wonder if any guarantees exist that this haemorrhage is not continuing till date."

CISLAC says it's aware that crude theft still persists in spite of repeated statements by government officials to bring it to an end.

"We find the loss of $599.98 million due to under-assessments or under-payments of petroleum profit taxes and royalties by oil and gas companies because of the absence of a new fiscal regime to succeed the expired MOUs as at 2013, very scandalous. This is because it betrays a lack of patriotism, commitment and seriousness on the part of the relevant government officials then in office."

CISLAC laments that the recurrent issues of the lack of metering facilities, faulty domestic crude allocation, non-remittance of funds due to the federation account and other findings, continue to recur in successive NEITI audit reports drawing the same recommendation in spite of several years of reporting and advocacy. We consider this lack of value for money for the Nigerian people. While it can be said that some progress has been made, this is not commensurate with the resources invested and must definitely not continue in this period of dwindling resources.

CISLAC calls on all the institutions concerned, to publicly explain to the Nigerian people what steps has been taken since 2013 to ensure that the findings of the auditors are being addressed and do not recur in subsequent audits. Anything short of these would be a disservice to the citizens of Nigeria

We call on civil society organizations, the media and all citizens to invest time in understanding the NEITI report for the purposes of engaging relevant institutions and demanding accountability from government in the management of the revenues accruing to us from these non-renewable resources.